World’s First Social Experiment In Renewability Says Renewable Living Is the Key To Happiness

File:Rain of Happiness 2.jpg(3BL Media/Justmeans) – We’re constantly bombarded with messages about what makes for a happy life: advertisers and brands tell us it comes from owning and consuming their products. The media says it's about wealth, beauty or fame. But do these things bring lasting happiness in themselves? We have looked to philosophy and religion for answers to these questions. Recently, this ancient search has been tested by scientific research, which found that although our circumstances matter, a huge proportion of the variations in happiness between us come from our choices and activities. So while we may not be able to change our inherited characteristics or circumstances, we do have the power to change how happy we are by the way we approach our lives. Could renewable living be the key to happiness?

New data from Tetra Pak offers some compelling evidence that the answer is "yes." The ‘Renewable Living Social Experiment’ is the world’s first social experiment in renewability; its goal was to uncover how renewable lifestyle choices influence levels of happiness. Conducted in partnership with University College London (U.K.) and  Tilburg University (The Netherlands), this research was commissioned by Tetra Pak. It finds that adopting a few simple, renewable lifestyle habits that help protect the earth’s natural resources can help people go from feeling glum to good, with 70 percent of those surveyed claiming they felt happier when making eco-minded choices.

Leading bloggers in five countries (United States, Brazil, India, France and Spain) were challenged to take small steps to adopt simple, renewable habits, from walking or biking to work, to making eco-minded choices at the grocery store. The experiment showed a significant increase in both how habitual the behaviors became and how happy they made the bloggers over the 28-day period. The study shows that the collective benefit of the small actions we take, from taking shorter showers to choosing products with renewable packaging, can benefit the world around us while making us feel happier.

Following on, the Tetra Pak is inviting people to find joy in protecting the planet’s resources with the #RenewableLiving Challenge, encouraging participants to adopt simple, renewable habits daily over a 28-day period. To kick off the challenge, the company has introduced the ‘Habits of Happiness Quiz’ to help participants assess where they stand on the happiness scale, both before and after the challenge.

The world needs mainstream consumers to embrace small lifestyle changes to help reduce our environmental impact. Many people have adopted conservation practices, such as switching off lights and appliances when not in use and reducing water usage, but the rationale for these practices is to save money rather than to save the planet. Recycling is gradually becoming more commonplace globally, but there has been no real incentive for people to change their wasteful ways. Hopefully, increased happiness is motivation to be greener; here are still many opportunities for small changes in our behaviours to have an impact on the environment.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons